Highbury newsletter: 31 August 2014

Aro Valley “Meet the Candidates” meeting

Wellington Central electorate candidates will be fronting up at the Aro Hall on Monday 8 September at 7:30pm to put their cases!  Be there!

Neighbourhood Support Group report

Tracey Turner reports on WCC responses to three questions raised at a joint Highbury Road (George Denton Park) and Highbury Crescent (Bottom) Neighbourhood Support Group meeting earlier this year.  The questions related to: 1) improving the no-right-turn signs at the end of Norna Crescent and Raroa Road; 2) the possibility of installing road mirrors there and at the junction with Disley Street and Highbury Road; 3) and the possibility of changing or widening the access way from the Highbury Fling onto George Denton Park so that the bike tracks do not scar the park.  WCC responses here: http://www.highbury.org.nz/neighbourhood-support-group-report/

Kelburn Village Pub quiz nights

On Tuesday nights at 7:00pm the Kelburn Pub offers not only fine ale and good company, but also the opportunity to exercise one’s grey matter by taking part in the pub quiz.  Teams of around  six people can register and face up to questions on a broad range of subjects.  Entry is free.  A few of us from Highbury have taken part occasionally and found the competition keen.  In other words we haven’t won yet but it’s only a matter of time!  You are most welcome to join the Highbury table, meet friends and neighbours, and help us lift our game.  Contact Margareth on ruupa [AT] slingshot.co.nz if  you would like to know more, by text an RSVP on 027 384 4750

Informal neighbourhood gatherings

A couple of questions about whether people are people interested in informal regular or occasional neighbourhood gatherings? The purpose of these gatherings would be to catch up with neighbours you know and meet ones that you don’t!   https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SWPDBBD

Valley Voice

The August issue of Valley Voice was delivered to “Lower Highbury” on Saturday 30 August.  An online version is here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/238214247/Valley-Voice-2014-August

Greater Wellington Regional Council Long-Term Plan for 2015-25

Initial consultation is occurring on the GW Long-Term Plan – a survey on broad issues to be considered is here: http://haveyoursay.gw.govt.nz/2015-25-long-term-plan

Emergency Text Alerts

WREMO provides an emergency text alert system for disasters where there is some pre-warning!  Find out more at: http://www.getprepared.org.nz/text-alerts

Back to the Beginning

Julia Buck continues her reflections on life: http://www.highbury.org.nz/back-to-the-beginning/

Bedsit/Share Accommodation

My name is Simon Pettit – both my daughter (Natasha – mature 13 year old) and myself have been in our home in Zetland Street since March of last year. We moved here to be in the zone for Wellington Girls College. We are currently looking for someone to move into downstairs of our home in a bedsit/share accommodation arrangement. This is a home environment not a flatting arrangement – so we are looking for someone who is friendly, caring and will feel at home in this set up. Ideally I’m looking for a mature female student or semi-professional who is independent and would be a good role model for my daughter. This person must be a dog lover as one of the family members is a black labrador named Lila.

For more information please go to Trade Me: http://www.trademe.co.nz/flatmates-wanted/auction-758990855.htm

Please phone Simon on (04) 934 5895 or 021 0298 1808

Piano & Composition Tutoring

Piano for pleasure for children and adults – beginners welcome! Lessons will be catered towards individual needs and wants whether playing for the enjoyment of music or adhering to the appreciation of music through the NZMEB Syllabus. Styles range from classical, jazz to popular music.

Tuition in composition, orchestration and typesetting (Finale program) available for secondary and tertiary students. Covers music theory, harmony and analysis, and musicianship (aural perception).

Please phone Simon on (04) 934 5895 or 021 0298 1808

House Sitter Wanted

Megan needs a house sitter from 3 Oct to 10 Oct. “Our household includes a cat, a mouse, two chickens and two goldfish that will all need to be fed. Some seedlings in pots will need light watering too.” If people know of anyone who is interested, please call Megan on 021 938 688.  (“We are also looking for a house sitter over Christmas.”)

Houses for Sale

1/32 Koromiko Rd: http://www.trademe.co.nz/property/residential-property-for-sale/auction-535660043.htm

4/29 Waiapu Rd: http://www.leaderswellingtonrealestate.co.nz/listings/details.asp?ref=49336

Highbury Facebook page

If you want to have your sunrise or sunset photo featured on the Highbury Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Highbury-Wellington-NZ/109783965777035) email them to Kris on skf@paradise.net.nz


This newsletter can also be found on http://www.highbury.org.nz/  Items for future issues please email them to Kris on skf@paradise.net.nz


Kris Ericksen

Read More

Neighbourhood Support Group report

From Tracey Turner

At a joint Highbury Road (George Denton Park) and Highbury Crescent (Bottom) Neighbourhood Support Group meeting earlier this year, we talked about a number of items that we agreed to discuss with the council.  They were about: improving the no-right-turn signs at the end of Norna Crescent and Raroa Road; the possibility of installing road mirrors there and at the junction with Disley Street and Highbury Road; and the possibility of changing or widening the access way from the Highbury Fling onto George Denton Park so that the bike tracks do not scar the park.  The summarised responses can be found below:

1. In the case of the no-right-turn sign, a new sign had recently been put up on Raroa Road facing the end of the Norna Crescent Junction. The Council were of the view that the signage was now adequate and that the people who make a right turn there will do so regardless of how many signs are erected.  I guess it’s therefore up to us as a community to challenge people attempting to make the right turn, if it’s safe to do so.

The relevant section of the Manual of Traffic Signs and Markings http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/motsam/part-1/ states that for No Right Turn signs (RG7):

Policy: Subject to formal authorisation by the controlling authority, an RG-7 sign must be erected on the approach to an intersection where the right turn is the only prohibited movement.

Where both left and right turns are prohibited at a crossroads intersection, anRG-10 NO TURNS sign should be erected.

Where a left turn is the only crossroads intersection, an RG-12 TURN LEFT sign should be erected.

Where the approach is a one-way road, RG-7 signs should be erected on both sides.

No other sign may be attached to an RG-7 sign or its support other than an RG-9 NO ENTRY sign or an RG-14 ONE WAY sign which may be attached to the reverse of the RG-7 sign.

Sign Size: Sign size is dependent on the particular application, ie urban or rural, two lane or multi-lane road etc. Refer to SECTION 1. 3: SIZE for detailed size requirements.

Location: The sign should normally be erected on the left-hand side at a point not more than 15 m before the intersection, so that an approaching driver has an uninterrupted view of the sign over a distance of at least 60 m. In order to achieve this sight distance it may be necessary to erect the sign on the right-hand side of the roadway.

(Note these are national guidelines that Council follows as set by the New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA). We’re also asked to note that Traffic Engineers can exercise some discretion withy these guidelines depending on the situation and/or environment.)

2. On the request for mirrors at junctions the advice was that the Council do not generally put mirrors up on public roads as they do not want drivers to rely solely on the mirror and use it as there only line of sight for exiting a junction as this can create its own problems. They advise also that placing a road mirror on a legal road is part of the encroachments process (which essentially means someone has to apply (and pay for) a licence). The operational procedure for this can be found here: http://wellington.govt.nz/~/media/services/consents-and-licenses/encroachments/files/road-mirror-procedures.pdf

So again the advice is that we need to take responsibility for ensuring the road is clear before emerging from these junctions.

3. On the track into George Denton Park the council agree there is a definite need for improvement – that the entrance to the track is not very inviting and because of this it has encouraged bikers to take a short cut across the play area.  The council will need to have further discussions with the track & play area officers and visit the site to see what can be done. They will work on this over the next couple of months as there were no funds available in 2013/14. With the new budget in July it will not be too long to wait to make some changes. The council will keep me updated with proposals so that they can seek feedback on them.  I’ll let you know when I hear more.

Tracey Turner

Highbury Road (George Denton Park) Neighbourhood Support Coordinator

Read More

Back to the beginning

by Julia Buck

In a recent Highbury eGroup newsletter I shared my thoughts about retiring from work. To bring you up to date, I’ve given up “lying on the couch, wondering what to do with the rest of my life”, and have moved on to “de-cluttering”. This is the process of parting with treasured trash in order to make room for more of it.

In the course of clearing out mountains of paperwork I found my diary from 1989, the year that I started work in Parliament. Having recently ended my time there, it was intriguing to be transported back 25 years to where it all began, in the office of Hon Roger Douglas in the Beehive:

17 September 1989

“I have been trying to find time to order my thoughts so that I can write down my first impressions. I was terrified on Monday morning. Clifton dropped me off and I had an anxious half hour to fill in before taking the lift to the fourth floor of the Beehive. Roger Douglas was in the lift!!

I was shown my desk and given a Dominion to read until Ron (the SPS) was free to tell me what he wants me to do. Apparently I will be making cups of tea, filing, and running errands. My first task was to tidy up several shelves stacked with old newspapers and magazines for Bevan Burgess, the press secretary. He told me I did a great job, better than anyone else had ever done (or not done, by the look of the mess). I was tempted to say that I was glad that a university education had made me good at something, but wisely refrained.

Apart from having to learn everything the hard way – by making heaps of mistakes – I love it! I love being here, the busyness, meeting such interesting people; the political excitement which seeps under your skin with every ring of the division bell; camera crews and reporters parked outside our office; discovering the General Assembly library and being allowed to borrow a book! And going home at night to watch the events of my day played out on the television news.

I love being just me, not wife of, or mother of, not even a teacher, just myself!”

In case you are wondering what relevance this has to the Highbury eGroup, it doesn’t have any, except that a general election is looming and in the run-up Cameron Slater, blogger, and Nicky Hager, investigative journalist, have effectively raked a layer of muck over the campaign, and buried some MPs in the process. The contrast between my love of the place (which never left me) and their contempt for it is stark.

Many people don’t like muck raking, regardless of how strongly they dislike its targets. Maybe there’s room for another book to be written about Parliament to counteract Hager’s seedy revelations? Something more “Sound of Music” in tone than “Dirty Politics”? I need a project – maybe I could write it?

But what would I know, I only worked there.

Remember to vote on 20 September!

Julia Buck


Read More

Best Backyard Ever!

by Garth Baker

Winter tree planting is well underway in our part of the town belt, coordinated by the Brooklyn Trial Builders.

Brooklyn Primary School students have planted 250 trees on top of Polhill, alongside the track over to the old gun emplacements.  This extends their planting from last year and replaces the gorse and weeds that the Council recently removed.

You’ll have noticed that Polhill Reserve, the park at the top of Aro St, has been renovated. Two popular tracks exit here and there’s so many visitors (1,000 people using the Transient track each week) that the Council wanted to improve safety and facilities.

In support of this development Brooklyn Trail Builders organised a working bee to plant the shoulders of the park, and to get in 200 rata trees (from Project Crimson) on the eastern slope around the new Serendipity downhill cycling track. The Aro Valley Regeneration Group and Kai O Te Aro, the neighbouring community garden, were also fully involved for a great community effort. Rata was the dominant tree species in the original forest of this area and they’ll make a dramatic Spring flowering display in future.

Other species  that were in the origin forest have been planted along the new uphill riding and walking track that Brooklyn Trial Builders are forming from Holloway Rd to Highbury. This route is about a year away from completion, when it provide a circuit around the edge of the whole area. This new track cuts through two valleys with permanent running water, which have been planted with pukeatea, fuchsia, kahikatea and nikau this winter.  If they do well, more will follow.

More nikau will soon be planted in the gullies along the tracks, along with other trees to fill gaps and protect the track surface.

Brooklyn Trail Builders have also worked with the Council to have drain pipes installed along the Fling and Rollercoaster tracks, as well as rebuilding a retained corner and gravelled the surface of the Fling.

For track locations see – http://tracks.org.nz/area/show/3

For more information contact Garth Baker, garthbaker@xtra.co.nz or 027 357 7901

It makes this the Best Backyard Ever!

Read More

Highbury newsletter: 20 June 2014

Highbury newsletter: 20 June 2014

Predator free community

Jonathan Musther and Rachel Wilcox are angling to have Kelburn, Brooklyn and Karori become a predator-free community with a $5000 grant from Halo.  They are students from Victoria University; both keen on trapping and conservation. Their aim is to engage university students, families and schools in the area to start trapping predators. By having this broad network they hope to build a safe haven for birds. Vote for them here: http://halo.org.nz/predator-free-community/. To contact this group, email: jmusther@gmail.com

Best Backyard Ever!

Garth Baker reports on all the tree planting that is going on in the Town Belt  / Polhill Reserve: http://www.highbury.org.nz/best-backyard-ever/


A new web site has been established called Neighbourly.  This site enables members to connect with others in their community and establish special interest email groups easily.  To find out more and join up: https://www.neighbourly.co.nz/join/jydhjk  We can publicise any email groups through this newsletter – for example gardening groups, famiilies with pre-schoolers, George Denton cricket matches, etc!

Valley Voice.

The June and July issues of Valley Voice have been distributed to “Lower Highbury” this and last month. The June issue also available at this link: http://www.scribd.com/doc/229479774/Valley-Voice-June-2014

Maria McElroy

Paddy McElroy would like to extend his appreciation to friends and neighbours for all the support that he has received after the recent passing of his wife of 55 years Maria.

Koromiko walkway plantings

A group of keen Highbury residents are steadily removing weeds and replanting the path adjourning the Koromiko walkway.

After consulting WCC we have had the rotten and overgrown trees removed and they have also given some plants.  Other plants are being paid for by the residents whose properties  adjourn the walkway. We hope you like the difference and the light that now falls on the path as the plants are being selected to help make the path dryer and brighter.  If you want to help weed and or plant please call Janet on 021 86 88 85

Paddy McElroy planting Astelia

Paddy McElroy planting Astelia above the Koromiko Walkway

Koromiko Walkway construction

“Residents of Highbury clearing embankment of gorse and broom under voluntary scheme organised by local progressive association.” 30 July 1946 (Appeared in “Post” 6 June 1947) Evening Post Collection. Alexander Turnbull Library ref: C21851. This is thought to show the construction of the pedestrian path between Highbury Rd and Koromiko Rd.

Coffee with Councillor Iona Pannett

Iona Pannett, our Lambton Ward Councillor, is buying everyone a coffee at the Aro Cafe on Sunday 27 July between 3:00pm and 4:30pm.  If you have any issues go along and discuss them with Iona.  Also again at the Southern Cross in Abel Smith St on Sunday 3 August, same time.  More details call Iona Pannett on 384 3382 or 021 227 8509

Wellington Brass Band 

Andrew Weir, local resident and member of the Wellington Brass Band (http://www.wellingtonbrass.net.nz) reports that they won the National Brass Band Championships recently held in Invercargill. This is the 2nd year in a row that  they have won, marking the most successful record in the band’s history.  The band won a total of 16 trophies across the various categories, including the aggregate Champion Band of 2014, and a large number of solo awards.

Kelburn Normal School Centenary

Linnette Horne took some photos during the recent Kelburn Normal School Centenary: http://www.highbury.org.nz/kelburn-normal-school-centenary/

Between Jobs

Julia Buck muses on being “Between Jobs” at: http://www.highbury.org.nz/between-jobs/

A Wellington Home “Gets Solar”

Highbury Crescent resident Eva Naylor features on this web site: http://sustaintrust.org.nz/smarthomes/solar.  ”Eva Naylor had a solar power system put on her 1965 Te Aro hilltop home. Eva wasn’t motivated by the long-term energy savings but purely to help mitigate climate change by using renewable energy. Eva chose a 2kw, grid-connected PV system with eight panels because, after consultation with our solar consultant, Simon Morris, this matched well with her energy usage. Eva’s peaceful organic garden and sustainable urban way of life reflect her ‘lead by example’ values.”

Eva's solar panels

Eva’s solar panels being installed

New Preparedness resources

WREMO has prepared two new booklets:  ”It’s Easy booklets for Neighbourhoods” and “Business Continuity Preparedness”. These can be downloaded at: http://www.getprepared.org.nz/publications

The “It’s easy” booklet for households contains useful information on how to prepare a household evacuation plan.  Apparently Wellingtonians are not particularly good at this!:  http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/wellington/10113353/Wellington-under-prepared-for-disaster

Indian Cooking Classes

The Brooklyn Community Centre runs Indian cooking classes: http://brooklyncommunitycentre.org.nz/?page_id=14


Find out more about what you can and can’t recycle: http://recycle.co.nz/

Houses for Sale

Highbury Rd: http://www.trademe.co.nz/property/residential-property-for-sale/auction-742281848.htm

27 Koromiko Rd: http://www.trademe.co.nz/property/residential-property-for-sale/auction-732574287.htm

1/32 Koromiko Rd: http://www.trademe.co.nz/property/residential-property-for-sale/auction-535660043.htm

129 Raroa Rd: http://www.trademe.co.nz/746228936

4/29 Waiapu Rd: http://www.leaderswellingtonrealestate.co.nz/listings/details.asp?ref=49336

Childcare @ mine

My name is Helen and I am an experienced Nanny. Some call me SuperGran. I live @ 57 Mt Pleasant Rd. My service provides casual or regular Childcare @ my address every day –  7am till late (includes weekends). The cost is $15 per hour. The minimum charge is $30. I only look after one child at any time though this is flexible by arrangement. Give me a call to discuss your requirements or make a booking.

Phone: 04 934 9501 or 027 454 1972   Email: hbennett57@gmail.com

Helen Bennett

Helen Bennett – SuperGran

A cat that can’t catch birds

George, the 6 year old beautiful tabby needs a new home.  He is a companion cat, looking for a best friend owner.  Lovely natured, well behaved, playful.  Call 021-1394-563 if you would like to come and meet him.  Thanks  Jane

Canvas and PVC repairs

Jon Rosemergy does free pickup and delivery in Highbury on any items that need the attention of an industrial sewing machine.  We have had a number of items repaired by Jon, and his work quality and price is excellent!  Contact him on  jon@laplodge.co.nz  or visit his web site: http://laplodge.co.nz/

Roast coffee bean deliveries

Chris Pugsley advises: We have been enjoying our weekly home delivery of amazing freshly roasted coffee from the Wellington Coffee Co-Op http://wellingtoncoffeeco-op.co.nz for about three months . Delivered to our letterbox on Koromiko Road every Monday (free delivery) our 300g of coffee beans is a wonderfully practical, fun and cost effective way of getting our weekly fix of quality fair trade locally roasted coffee.  We let them chose what variety to deliver each week – we pay monthly $30/kg – and enjoy.  Try it… great value, great service and amazing coffee.  Contact them on: wgtncoffeecoop@xtra.co.nz

Highbury Facebook page

If you want to have your sunrise or sunset photo featured on the Highbury Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Highbury-Wellington-NZ/109783965777035) email them to Kris on skf@paradise.net.nz


This newsletter can be found on http://www.highbury.org.nz/  Items for future issues please email them to Kris on skf@paradise.net.nz


Kris Ericksen

Read More

Between Jobs

by Julia Buck

Having quit work recently – after 25 years in the same job – I’m going through a weird phase of adjusting to being my own boss in my own company. On Day One of this new era I sent an email to the Newtown Community Centre (where I once worked) to let them know that I was “lying on the couch, pondering what to do with the rest of my life”, and wondering if they might like to take me on again as a breadmaking or vegetarian cookery tutor. I was told they don’t offer such courses any more, but perhaps I would like to join their get fit class for seniors. Touché!

Friends do their best to guide me through the time of life they call retirement, but not me. I’d rather be having the time of my life. They ask me if I have thought about hospital visiting, joining a community choir, learning a foreign language, taking up the violin (again), or playing badminton at the Aro Valley Community Centre. The list goes on, but perversely the more I’m encouraged to get out there and do stuff, the more I feel like going back to bed and reading a book!

Something will turn up, I’m sure, to keep me off the streets. In the meantime time I’m back on them, or rather the footpaths, walking everywhere on these lovely winter days, making up for 25 years sitting gazing at a computer screen. Yesterday I walked from the bottom to the top of Bolton Street in ten minutes, one foot after the other, just keeping on going. It wasn’t as far, or as steep, as it looks.

Robert Browning wrote: “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made.” I’ll go along with that!

Read More